We human beings have not been kind to our environment. Our world provides a lot for us, and we’ve caused terrible damage in return. As we get paper products and lumber, our Earth gets  deforested and devastated habitats; as we get materials for roads and structures, our Earth gets a shrinking natural space; and as we get powerful fuels, our Earth gets a poisoned atmosphere and higher temperatures.

It’s an upsetting situation, and those of us who care about our environment will want to know what we can do to limit our own role begin to turn the tide in favor of the environment. In doing so, we can save money and live in more efficient ways. Here’s what you need to know about reducing your own personal environmental impact.

Use less energy at home

One of the obvious ways in which our lifestyle harms the Earth is how we consume energy. The energy we use to heat and light our homes is created in power plants. Not all forms of power generation are created equal, but very few of them are particularly great for the planet. That means that we can help our planet out by simply using less energy at home.

So how can we do that? We can start by investing in proper insulation. Keeping climate-controlled air in and outside air out is essential to energy efficiency. Taking steps to be more conscious of this can mean things as simple as closing windows and doors, or things as complex as investing in new insulation, siding, or attic ventilation.

Even our decor can affect our energy consumption. The right window treatments can make your space look better, but did you realize that they can also help you regulate the temperature of your space in a natural way? Closing blinds, curtains, and other window treatments against the sun can keep your space cooler, while opening them can warm it. It doesn’t hurt that window treatments can also save you money by preventing your paint, furniture, and flooring from fading as quickly as they otherwise would. All of this means that you have an Earth-friendly reason to invest in quality brands like Hunter Douglas window treatments. Being energy-efficient will also save you money by limiting your energy bills, of course! Saving money on gas or electricity while helping the planet is a win-win.

Use less energy on the go

The fuel that we use in our cars makes a massive and unfortunate contribution to pollution. Environmental problems like climate change are partly caused by the ways in which we get from place to place. But your personal travel decisions don’t have to make such a negative impact on the planet.

For starters, you can make your car travel more efficient. Keep fuel efficiency in mind when you shop for a car, and consider diesel cars, hybrid cars, electric cars, and other vehicles that focus on efficiency or use alternative fuels. The rise of alternative fuels is one of the most promising signs of progress in the fight to save our environment, according to experts at SeQuential Biodiesel. You can reduce your impact by sharing it with someone else, too. If you carpool, the larger number of riders in your vehicle means that the fuel usage per person is lower.

Of course, you don’t have to drive a car at all. More efficient ways to get from place to place include public transit. While a bus or a train uses energy, the large numbers of people riding these vehicles makes the per-rider impact quite a bit smaller than that of cars. It’s the ultimate form of carpooling! Plus, public transit options help to ease traffic. That makes things less stressful for us and actually further helps the environment, since traffic makes fuel usage less efficient.

Taking the fight further

There’s a lot that you can do in your own life to help our environment, but you don’t have to stop there. The actions of huge groups and organizations, including big businesses, governments, and groups of individuals who aren’t doing as much as you are, can be huge threats to the environment. If you want tackle more than just your own environmental impact, get passionate! Protest, organize, and vote. Your planet depends on it.